Story originally posted to Dateline Alabama on March 12, 2014
AJ McCarron came into Alabama’s pro day with confidence and determination. Alabama fans and college football followers have grown accustom to a poised and confident McCarron on and off the field. Wednesday was a chance for McCarron to show NFL scouts that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
“I don’t get nervous before games or big moments, so I love this,” McCarron said following his Pro Day workout. “This is when it all counts and it’s a chance to fulfill a dream I’ve had since I was three years old so I’m enjoying it and having fun.”
After a tough ending to the 2013 football season for McCarron and the Crimson Tide with losses to Auburn and Oklahoma, McCarron has been training in Jackson, Miss. and preparing himself for the 2014 NFL Draft.
McCarron started for the Crimson Tide for three years and put up strong numbers last year. Despite tough losses in his final two games as the Alabama quarterback, McCarron ended with great numbers with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His 2013 season was enough to place second in the running for the Heisman Trophy behind Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
Former Alabama receivers Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell and Marquis Maze worked out Wednesday with McCarron. The focus Wednesday was on throwing the type of throws an NFL quarterback is expected to make.
“I’ve been hearing everything about arm strength, deep outs and comebacks. I feel like I shed the silence on all that,” McCarron said. “I threw deep early in the workout and I threw deep late, so I felt like it was a good day.”
Playing in the SEC for three years has given McCarron more than enough experience playing football against tough competition. What waits to be seen is how McCarron can translate his great college play on Saturdays to professional games on Sundays. While it is unknown where McCarron will end up in May’s NFL Draft, most analysts have him going anywhere between the second and fourth rounds. The first round of the draft will be held May 8 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
When asked if he feels like he is the best quarterback in the upcoming draft, McCarron gave the answer that most would expect.
“Why not? The rest of those guys feel like they’re the best,” McCarron said. “It’s the mindset you have to carry. I feel like my play speaks for itself over the three years I started in the SEC.”
That confidence can go a long way for McCarron in his hopes of becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL.